Sailing on Fritz the Cat from Colombia to Panama

I was running out of patience after spending the last couple days on board the Meta Comet.
Captain Herve kept delaying the trip back to Panama, now a week had gone by, no bike and NO signs of leaving soon. I'de been anxious to get to Panama so I can surf again. I was also craving a Central America lifestyle, more beaches and sunshine. Colombia gave me many
life challenges and I was ready to move on north. Being stuck on this boat didn't help.
On my third day on the Meta Comet. I was sipping on my morning coffee when I saw Fritz the Cat anchored 50 meters away from us. A 50 foot Catamaran. I asked the captain; Fritz, when he was leaving for San Blas Islands and to Panama.... " In a few hours he says - Comon, you come with us", he yells out in his Austrian accent.
I jump in the canoe and paddle out to his boat to pay him a visit and see about negotiating a price.
I met Fritz several months before in Villa de Leyva, a beautiful Colonial town near Bogota. We exchanged several emails regarding sailing with him back to Panama. His price was a little higher then some other boats, but he had a good reputation, great cook and good captain. Not to forget a killer 50 foot catamaran!
After explaining to him my situation with Captain Herve and the Meta Comet, he gave me a last minute fair price so I jumped for the deal.
I paddled back to the Meta Comet, psyked to get going. I woke up Captain Herve to announce him the bad news. - Asked for my money back ( luckily I did get it)
I told him I was changing boat and could no longer wait for him to leave.
"I told you we leave Tomorrow" he says...
A week ago, it was in a few days, then a few days after, it was tomorrow, then tomorrow was tomorrow... I wanted to hear, we leave NOW!
An Captain Fritz said the Magic word.... we leave NOW!

At noon, in the middle of a down pour, Captain Fritz pulled over next to the Meta Comet and we loaded my bike on board * Fritz the Cat *
The rest of the crew arrived. There were 12 of us including Captain Fritz, his girlfriend and the deck helper, Jose.

Lifting my bike off the Meta Comet with the main boom in pissing rain.
Captain Herve wasn't too spyked.
All anxious to leave. By the time we got our passports, it was getting
late. Finally after sunset we pulled the anchor and set off to sea...
Adios Cartagena - Colombia, see you next time.
It takes nearly 30 hours to get from Cartagena Colombia to the first islands of San Blas.
Our first night at sea was a bit rough. We all took turns at night watch for an hour.
None of us felt sick (yet) I had a few Rum & Coke with Tony to celebrate our departure.
Making me feel a little dehydrated. My night watch turned out to be a good time to get fresh air and drink up some limonade.
The next morning, sea was calm, bikinis were out on deck, guitar jamming, life was good again.
Arriving at San Blas Island at sunset.
Captain Fritz, spear gun in hand, off to get us something for diner... but came back empty hands 3 hours later.
Instead we bought fresh lobster and crabs from locals for only a few bucks each.
Captain Fritz and his lady
Suzanna and Paige working on their tan.
Dream Rider enjoying a pimping boat ride.
Suzanna trying to get us more wind.
Here I am keeping things in balance.
Gabriel reflecting in a calm sea.
The girls
Chilling in the shade.

Pirate ship in the San Blas.
Local mode of transportation.
Argentinian bad navigation... bye bye boat.
Little too much RUM for those boyz.
Golden light in the San Blas
Time for a swim... no waves, but fun to paddle around other sailboats and clear blue water.
Jose cheff'in up a roast!
San Blas locals coming to sell us hand made jewelry... a sneaky shot as they are hard people to
Cheers and another feast!
We spent a couple nights anchored in the San Blas.Welcome to the San Blas beauty paradise islands...
Paige being creative, her own island idea...
Dug out local canoe. - Heavy has hell!

Maybe drifted from Japan?
Local Kuna woman selling jewelry they make from little color beads.
Our boat in paradise

Kuna home
Little tropical paradise
Good bye to the crew... good 5 days of laughing, eating and fun adventure.

We arrived in Puerto Lindo Panama after a long night sailing from San Blas. The journey
was rough, sea was big with heavy rain. All windows shut , no air, it was humid and no one could sleep. Sick sickness got a few crew members spending hours piuckin on the side of the boat under heavy rain - No rum was drank that night!!!
Early next morning we continued our last 20 km push to Puertobelo were my bike would be unloaded.
The weather was good until my bike was off the boat. I had just enough time to say goodbye to the crew. As soon as my bags were strapped to my bike came a heavy tropical rain.
Welcome to Panama Caribbean !!! it's rainy season here...
I rode around in town under a torrential rain to find the Aduana so I could import my bike. I was told to go to Colon to do the paper work.
I had no intentions to go to Colon - one of the most dangerous cities in Central America! No thanks... I'm going paper less! No Import... (the paper work is nothing but a waste of time anyways)
I continued on towards Panama city where I would find the Pan-American highway once I crossed over the Panama Canal and ride north to Santiago also hope not to be stopped by the police - with my surfboard strapped on my side! I never know if some countries might not like the surfboard Idea.
The rain finally stopped as I got closer to the Pacific side. No more high mountain pass or landslides, no more military checks.
Flash back memories drifted in my thoughts as I rode with my music blasting in my ipod. Psyked to be back riding in Central America. On a surf mission north...
Last time I was here was in January 2009.


  1. You forget everything. The hours slip by. You travel in your chair through centuries you seem seem to see before you, your thoughts are caught up in the story, dallying with the details or following the course of the plot, you enter into characters, so that it seems as if it were your own heart beating beneath their costumes. Cheap Flights to Medellin

  2. Alain,
    What price should someone expect to pay to catch a ride on a boat with a motorcycle between Colombia and Panama?
    ~ Tim